Explore the rich Indigenous cultural landscapes of Canada’s capital with the Indigenous Experiences in Canada’s Capital travel package, featuring Aboriginal Experiences.
Sign up for a tour with Aboriginal Experiences, and you’ll get a taste of many First Nations cultures from across Canada. You’ll be welcomed by someone playing a hand drum and you’ll watch demonstrations by Aboriginal dancers from around the country — a jingle dance, perhaps, or a hoop dance. Try a meal, maybe venison sausage, three-sisters soup (beans, squash and corn) or wild rice. There’s even a voyageur option, where you paddle down the historic Ottawa River and arrive at the Aboriginal Experiences grounds by canoe, an experience which is a member of the noteworthy Canadian Signature Experiences collection.
“We give people an introduction to Aboriginal people in Canada,” says Linda Sarazin, director of operations. “And we explain that Canada is immense, and that First Nations culture is not just one culture.” The location, however, is important for myriad people in the country, as it’s on sacred land between Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec, at an ancient trading stop on the Ottawa River. From one side of the facility, you can see Canada’s Parliament Buildings; from another, the province of Quebec.
Aboriginal Experiences is open from May to mid-October for guided tours with a minimum of 25 people per group. All tours must be booked in advance. (In winter, Aboriginal Experiences focuses on outreach to regional schools.)
“People arrive as guests and they leave as friends,” Sarazin says. “We give people the hunger to know more, because they learn about how diverse our country is.”